15 Nov (NucNet): The first Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) mission to India has put forward a number of proposals for improving the operation of Units 3 and 4 at the six-unit Rajasthan nuclear power plant, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.
The OSART mission noted a series of good practices at the plant, which is operated by state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), but said recommendations and suggestions needed to be carried out to reinforce safety practices.
The team said plant operators should improve actions to maintain electrical cable conditions at a high standard.
It said the fire doors inspection and maintenance programme should be improved to “identify and correct fire door function” and certain aspects of the plant’s surveillance testing programme should be improved.
The team said plant operators should improve their root-cause analyses to “systematically identify all learning opportunities”.
The IAEA said the Rajasthan nuclear plant management had “expressed their determination” to address all the areas identified for improvement and requested that the IAEA schedule a follow-up mission in approximately 15 months.
The OSART team identified a number of good practices at the plant, saying its safety culture cultivates “a constructive work environment and a sense of accountability among the power plant personnel”, and gives its staff the opportunity to expand skills and training.
The team also highlighted the plant’s public awareness programme, which it said provides educational opportunities to the local community about nuclear and radiation safety.
The team noted that the plant uses testing facilities and mockups to improve the quality of maintenance work and to reduce radiation doses.
The IAEA said the team, assembled at the request of the government of India, performed an “in-depth operational safety review” from 29 October to 14 November 2012.
The review included aspects essential to the safe operation of the plant and its conclusions are based on the IAEA’s safety standards and good international practices, the IAEA said.
This was the 171st mission of the OSART programme, which began in 1982. The IAEA said the plant’s management and staff were “very open” during review and discussion with the OSART team.
The Rajasthan nuclear plant has six pressurised heavy water reactor units in commercial operation. Two more units are under construction and according to NPCIL will begin commercial operation in 2016.
Details of the IAEA’s OSART missions are online: